Saturday, April 30, 2011

I loved it!

The Royal Wedding was amazing! I went to a friends house for a Royal Wedding party and we ate a very posh(sarcasm) dinner of KFC and Champagne.

I'm not normally so girly or gushy but I teared up while watching the ceremony and aaww'ed in delight at the dress. The cow stole my dress though, it's pretty much my ideal wedding dress so when I ever get married I'm going to be accused of copying her! Oh Well at least the design will be easier to find.

Prince Harry I'm single ;)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration is a new weekly post I've decided to start to keep me motivated on my saving goals. The next time I'm at the shops drooling over a not on budget item I'm going to remember these posts and keep on track!

This Friday my inspiration is Rome! I will definitely be visiting Italy during my travels but I can't decide how many cities I want to visit yet, I know I want to visit Rome!

Photos from flickr, click on the picture for source
Rome, The Flavian Amphitheatre (Coliseum).

Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City

Italian Pizza

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Proof

Here it is my credit card balance! I've decided to keep my credit card right now because It will probably come in handy when I need to book airplane tickets and accommodation, it will just remain in my wallet unused until then. I've updated my sidebars as well and added a bar for TRAVEL SAVINGS!

Yeah I'm still hyped up about the thought of saving for travel!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm Credit Card Debt Free!!!

So I caved and I transferred the money from my regular account and E Fund to pay off my credit card and I can gladly say I'm Credit Card debt free, all that's left is to pay the last $200 from my parents loan and I'll be completely debt free.

This means I'm going to be living tight for the next pay fortnight with the majority of my pay going towards rent but I'm happy to do this for the joy of being Credit Card Debt free and being able to start my holiday savings plan sooner then expected!

If you want to know the reason for this change of mind from my last post, I partly blame the 5 day long weekend in Australia which has allowed me time not to do anything and to be to in my head thinking about my credit debt. I've also been bad with my money this pay and spent my entertainment fund 3 days into the fortnight. I was sitting on the couch tonight, stressing about the spending and decided rather then spend anymore money this fortnight I'll just put it all onto the credit card instead. It's a bit stupid, actually probably a lot stupid but I'm so happy to be Credit Card debt free so I can stop stressing about my money and start SAVING my money.


I'll update the sidebars once the payment clears my bank fully and the balance shows $0

I'm breaking up with fashion blogs

I love fashion, I love style, I love clothes, I love make-up, I love fashion magazines, I love shoes and I love jewellery but this is all part of what got me into this mess in the first place. I keep up to date by following fashion and style blogs and reading magazines since I've stopped spending I still read the blogs and magazines and it's not helping me on my spending ban!

I read a blog and want to spend $200 on a pair of doc martens or I read a magazine and want to buy the next MAC makeup collection this is not helpful to my spending ban so I've decided to stop reading fashion blogs and magazines right now while I'm on the spending ban and saving for travel. I don't know how long I'll last and I might cave a few times and check some blogs out but for now our relationship is over! Goodbye !

Weekly Money Check-Up

I haven't done one of these in a while! It's My Pretty Pennies Weekly Money Check up time!

1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on My credit card payment as usual, I can't wait till I can answer "Savings"!
2. Today I am thankful the 5 day weekend is over tomorrow, this sounds a bit sick but I am so bored!
3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was staying in the other night and drinking a cup of tea and watching dvd's.
4. I will consider this week a success if I do not stress out at work.
5. My favorite TV show growing up was EVERYTHING! Rugrats, Aah Real Monsters and The Adventures of Alex Mack are the main ones!

Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm frustrated

I'm frustrated with my friends right now they all know I'm saving to travel and I can't afford big nights but they just don't get it. I haven't gone out much recently and people are noticing, I have friends who will send me messages on Facebook saying how "We need to catch up" and inviting me out, when I say I can't afford to go out right now but I'd love to do something a bit cheaper maybe a cup of coffee or seeing the latest free thing thats held around my town they don't reply!

I had a close friend last night, chuck a tantrum over the phone at me "because I'm no fun anymore". I'm really sorry if I'm not fun but I'm broke and I'm trying to go overseas, clubbing is on permanent hold right now. I'm struggling a bit with my lack of social life right now, but I'm not saying the struggle is a bad thing I've been involved in an unhealthy social circle right now and I've known for a while I need to peel away from it all.

There's not much point to this post really, I just needed to vent some frustration. Sorry.

Lest we forget

Today is ANZAC Day in Australia and New Zealand. The day we commemorate the service of the men and women who fought to keep Australia free and safe, the reason for this date was during worldwar 1 25th of April was the date Australian and New Zealand forces landed in Gallipoli (turkey) to capture Turkey which was then an ally of Germany. The fight was not a success and we lost over 8,000 people and today is the day we thank them for their service.

ANZAC Day is not just about the 25th of April anymore though, today we also thank and recognise the service of every man and women who fought for Australia in all the proceeding wars. My ancestry is English and Australian during both World Wars our English side lost family members.

There are often news paper articles or news bites about young Australians being apathetic to the day but I'd like to argue that is only a small few (the drunk 18-19yr old Bogan boys). My friends and I are grateful for the service they provided for our freedom and every year we recognise this by attending the marches in support and speaking respectfully of the service these people have provided us. I'm planning to travel to Anzac Cove in Turkey during the next Anzac day to show my respects and see the service.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

If I won 1 million dollars

Do you ever have one of those days at were everything just drags? I have them all the time, to keep me entertained during the boring times I like to dream about money, mainly what I would do if I won a certain amount or how much I would save if I saved a certain amount in a certain time frame. Today I have been dreaming about what I would do if I won $1,00,000 and here is what I would do!

If I won $1,000,000 I would:

1. Pay off my mothers mortgage approx $250,000
2. Pay off my credit card and loans $1472.58
3. Pay off my brothers loans and credit card debt $11,000
4. Give my mum and brother $50,000 each $100,000
5. Epic Party $5,000
6. Around the world holiday $60,000
7. Move to the UK and establish myself in a rental property $8,000
8. Go to university and study photography $20,000
9. Put the rest $433,472.58 into a savings account and generate interest until I decide if I want to buy property in the UK or what.

Number 9 is pretty boring but the stock market scares me, maybe I should use the rest to hire a financial advisor to let me know where I should save the rest. What would you do if you won 1 million?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sidebar update

It was payday on Wendesday and I transferred money to my debts and into my savings.

Current levels
Credit Card - $722.89
Parents Loan - $200
Emergency Fund - $300

I am so close to paying my credit card off I can taste it, I even have enough money in my bank account right now that I could transfer it all onto my credit card and it would be paid off! I was very tempted to do this on Thursday but I realised it wouldn't be a good idea because it would leave me with around $10 for the next fortnight and I would still be in the cycle of living from paycheck to paycheck.

I'm steadily paying everything off and paying all my bills on time and at the current rate I'm on track to be debt free by the end of July!

Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration is a new weekly post I've decided to start to keep me motivated on my saving goals. The next time I'm at the shops drooling over a not on budget item I'm going to remember these posts and keep on track!

This Friday my inspiration is London! I want to live and work in London and scope out all the places locals know and love but I'll definitely be exploring all the tourist places first!

Photos from flickr, click on the picture for source
The unknown Photographer at Big Ben

London Eye View

Buckingham Palace

I know there are some UK bloggers out there! Do you guys have any tips for where I should go or what I should do?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I want to buy a vacuum.

Spending last week back at my mum's house has served 2 purposes, 1) to make me really, really home sick and 2) it's given me the spending urge!

I haven't purchased much things for my apartment because I know I'll be leaving it soon so I've been making do with substitutes, for instance I don't have a vacuum so I use a broom instead and i don't have a mop so I use an old towel and kind of walk it all over the floor, I realised when I was at home that this method is not doing the job, my mums floors are lovely and clean and mine are gross. I really need to buy a vacuum and a mop, I'm not going to go crazy and buy a Dyson or something I think I would be fine with a $40 one from Kmart. I feel guilty about going off my spending ban for this but I think I can deal with the $40 expense for the joy of a clean floor.

Am I kidding myself though? Should I make do with what I have? Do you guys think this an expense worth breaking my spending ban for?

EDIT: I've agreed to do overtime at work this week and I will use this income to buy a vacuum and put the rest into my credit card debt. Wow I think I may be finally starting to make responsible financial decisions.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thinking of changing banks and hidden bank fees

So a couple of weeks ago my budget did not match my bank account and I couldn't realise why, all my spending added up and I thought I hadn't missed noting any spending. I had a look at my transactions and found I had been charged $46 from my bank in bank fees, this is going to sound so stupid but I thought I was only charged $5 a month in bank fees. I had a look into all my accounts and fees and was shocked at what I found, I've been with my bank since I was 6years old and I'm really attached to my account for this reason. I know my bank account number off by heart and I also love their online banking account.

One of the benefits of my work is that I get fee free banking with their linked bank. I have opened an account but I haven't really used it yet but now I'm considering changing to my work bank full time. I've done a rough breakdown below of all my accounts and the benefits of my work bank.

Current Bank

Regular Account
- $5 monthly fee which comes with 15 free transactions a month (not including access fees, like other banks ATM's)
- $2 fee for staff assisted withdrawals - I had no idea about this.
- Once I exceed the 15 transactions on the account the charges are this
- $.50 for CBA ATM Cash withdrawals
- $.30 for CBA ATM Transfers
- $.50 for eftpos in Australia
- $.30 for self service phone withdrawals
- $.30 for online banking and online bill paying, direct debits
- $2 for non brand ATM withdrawals
I've held this account since I was 6 years old and It did not have any fees until I turned 18.
On this account I make on average 46 transactions a month, which means 31 of my monthly transactions are generating a fee of some sort.

Debit Card - I need to have a separate debit card as my regular account can not do debit cards
- $4 monthly fee
- no extra fees like my regular account

Savings account
- No fees
- 3% interest
- 3% bonus interest if I deposit a certain amount every month and don't withdraw it

Credit Card
- $17.94% Interest
- $4 a month account keeping fees
If I was to change accounts I would not change this and just keep this and pay it off.

Pros for existing bank
The account history
I love, love, love their online banking platform. It's so much more crisp and well put together and easy to use

The fees.
They're a market leader and they won't negotiate on fees with me

Work Banks

Regular Account
- comes with a debit card
- Fee free banking for everything except using other banks ATM's
- no monthly fees

Savings account
- no monthly fees
- Fee free banking
- 5% Interest per annum

No fees

The clunky online banking platform
the loss of my 18yr old transaction account :(

Not counting credit card interest I pay between $20 - $40 a month in account keeping fees. I've realised by writing this post that my attachment to my 18yr old banking account is not worth the waste of money.

However I have also been looking at HSBC and they have pretty much the same deal as my work bank. The HSBC everyday banking account has no monthly fees and transaction charges plus it also comes with a visa debit card attached the account. Their online savings account also has a rate of 5.25% interest which is lower then my Commonwealth account. I was planning to open a HSBC account before I left for the UK because the also operate in the UK I wouldn't need to go through the drama many expats have trying to open a bank account in the UK.

I've written this post over the past two weeks while researching the banks so now I think I've pretty much decided to open a HSBC account as there are no fees and I'm going to need to open one before I leave for the UK so why not do it now and save the drama. What do you guys think anyway? Would you go for the HSBC or for my work bank?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Holiday Spending recap and no credit card use!

I had a lovely time with my family this week, we still had the usual family drama (don't all families?) but it was still great to be home and enjoy the warmer climate!

I set myself the budget of $100 for the holiday and I spent $106! I'm not kicking myself that it's only $6 over I had so many shopping temptations this week but I resisted them all PLUS I didn't touch my credit card at all! I'm happy I didn't use it, I even thought of using it a few times and was justifying a clothing purchase in my head but I resisted!

I also need to admit that I haven't been tracking my spending for the rest of this past pay period. I haven't exceeded my budget but I still haven't been tracking it. I'm still very focused on paying my credit card off and saving for travel so when I get paid this wednesday it's back to tracking my spending!

Holiday Spending
$10 - Necklace
$10.95 - Gift
$18.05 - Groceries for when I made dinner one night
$9.60 - coffee for my mum and I one morning
$8.20 - Coffee again
$13 - lunch
$5.05 - digital photo printing
$15.80 - supplies for plane ride (water, gum, magazine)
$7.50 - breakfast at the airport (I had a 7am flight and had to get up at 5am!!! for my flight)
$3 - coffee on the plane
$17.80 taxi home

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Inspiration

Friday Inspiration is a new weekly post I've decided to start to keep me motivated on my saving goals. The next time I'm at the shops drooling over a not on budget item I'm going to remember these posts and keep on track!

This Friday my inspiration is Paris. I've been obsessed with France since I was a little girl and I've always wanted to go there, living in London I will only be a short train ride away so I plan to spend a few weekends there exploring!

Photos from flickr click on the photos for the source

Cuba Gallery: France / Paris / people / man / buildings / old / historic / street / photography

Paris-Eiffel Tower.JPG


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The dysfunction in my family is driving me mental

I've been home for 1 day and I already feel like I'm loosing my mind. We had my nieces christening today and as usual my family members were fighting, I'm not going to discuss everything on a public blog but after everything that happened I'm feeling tired, stressed and emotionally drained.

On a more positive note though when I was flying up over the weekend my flight was delayed so I had a few extra hours to kill at the airport. Instead of sulking around at McDonalds or using the internet I window shopped and stalked the international departures area. I had such an awesome time, a bit lame to admit this I know, but the jealousy I felt watching everyone else go past the security gates has helped me with my savings motivation. I really want to travel and I'm going to do everything in my power to have enough money saved to do it!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Updated sidebars/Down to 3 digits!

So I noticed my pay came in early tonight so I decided to pay my bills so I could update my sidebars!

I would really like to bring to your attention to my credit card debt which is now $972.89, I've broken the $1000 barrier!!!

It was easy to get the debt down to this much, I always do this, I've been doing this for the past 6 years, running my credit card debt up and then paying it down, my real challenge this time is to keep it down for good, no more one off "small" purchases and my credit card stays at home. I've decided for know to keep my limit at the $1500 mark and keep the credit card around because I am going to need it in the future to buy overseas plane fares and things like that.

I'm also happy I have $300 left to pay back my parents on their loan but I've decided to pay back an extra $200 which my mother gave me as a gift to pay for misc items I needed for my new place. I figured it's time to stop relying on my parents for everything and my Mum could really use the money right now.

I've decided to change my savings account right now to an emergency fund. Once the emergency fund reaches $1000 I will start a separate savings account for travel savings. Eventually when I go to travel I will roll my emergency fund into my savings account or keep it as an emergency fund to have while I travel and maybe have enough for a ticket home or something in there.

Busy week and a call for help!

I've had a hectic week at work, it's never ending right now, just when things get under control the sh!t hits the fan and we're back to warp speed.

Anyway, nothing new to report still tracking my personal finances, pay day tomorrow and I love using cash instead of my ATM Card!

I am having some issues with bringing lunch from home this week. I'm getting tired of my bulk frozen soups and I need some new ideas! Does anyone have any ideas for yummy and frugal lunches that is not minestrone soup? It's coming into Winter here in Australia so it needs to be warm and nourishing and I'm trying to loose weight so it needs to be healthy and I low GI. I have lunch in an office so it can't be to smelly and I have access to a microwave, toaster and a sandwich press.

I will love you all long time if you give me some tips!
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